Whites were not slaves in the term of being truly owned. They were indentured servants. But their "masters" could and did beat them, and treat them bad. Although they could technically walk away, where would they go? They generally had to work 7 years (but it could be more) to pay off their ship passage to America, and when the apprenticeship was over they would work the same job as the master. But sometimes the master did not want them to succeed, because working on their own would make them competition. They would sometimes sabotage them, and make the work time longer. Many died without making it to freedom. So, in all this, you could call them slaves.